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Arctic Guide

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Introduction
  3. Brief description of different risks in the Arctic
  4. Brief description of organizations with main responsibilities
  5. International, bi- and multilateral agreements
  6. Role of indigenous people
  7. Information sharing
    1. EPPR points of contact
    2. National points of contact
  8. Canada
  9. Denmark
  10. Finland
  11. Iceland
  12. Norway
  13. Russia
  14. Sweden
  15. USA

2. Introduction

Under the Arctic Environment Protection Strategy and the Arctic Council the Arctic countries have agreed on a “framework for taking early cooperative action on emergency prevention, preparedness and response in the Arctic”. The Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response working group (EPPR) was established by the declaration on the protection of the Arctic environment signed June 14, 1991 in Rovaniemi, Finland, as a network for information on Arctic accidents and for facilitating co-operation among the Arctic states in the areas of emergency prevention, preparedness and response.

EPPR is not a response organization. Consequently this Guide does not have the same formal basis or structure as the operational manuals in existing multi- or bilateral agreements.

The aim of the Guide is mainly to inform on EPPR arrangements in the respective Arctic countries and to give information on contact persons, contact points and available resources. The target group for this Guide is primarily people involved in the EPPR but the Guide is of general interest for others.

Distribution list:

  • Heads of delegations/EPPR
  • EPPR secretary
  • SAO:s
  • National Contact Points
  • Chairmen of Working Groups
  • Secretariats for other Working Groups
  • Observers to the Arctic Councils
  • Others to be identified by H o D:s

Updating the manual

  1. Updating of the manual is the responsibility of the EPPR secretary or (if no secretary) Sweden .
  2. Updating will be made on a yearly basis in accordance with information received at the EPPR- meeting.
  3. An updated version will be available on EPPR’s webpage: No printed updated versions will be distributed.

3. Brief description of risks in the Arctic

The eight Arctic states have each identified activities in their Arctic region, which they consider to present risks due to location or operation. These risks are associated with oil and gas activities such as exploration, production, and transportation, and other activities such as mining, steel and pulp milling, and waste storage. The threats involve release of oil, radiological and other hazardous materials. Military activities are excluded from consideration, in accordance with Arctic Council policy. The identified Arctic risks present the potential for impacts, which could require emergency response. Quantification of these risks establishes the basis for planning and maintaining an effective emergency preparedness and response program.

The activity and associated risks are briefly described below.

Risks associated with oil and gas activities

  • Oil and gas exploration presents the risk of losing well control resulting in discharge of oils or releases of gas and the potential for fire, as well as other accidental spills and releases from operating activities and introduction of heavy metals associated with drilling mud.
  • Oil and gas production presents the opportunity for accidental oil spills and release of gas from both land and sea during storage and shipping.
  • Oil harbors and terminals present the threat of accidental releases from storage or during off loading.
  • Major transportation routes of oil and other hazardous substances carry the risk of discharges and releases from accidents.
  • Oil pipelines have the potential to discharge oil.

Risks associated with hazardous material activities

  • Hazardous material waste sites carry the risk of accidental releases of materials, including PCBs, heavy metals, chlorine and oxides.
  • Hazardous materials storage sites have a potential to release chlorine, heavy metals and oxides.

Risks associated with other Arctic-based activities

  • Threats of radioactivity releases are associated with nuclear power plants, other nuclear operations, activities and sites and nuclear waste storage facilities/sites.
  • Arctic based mining presents the risk of accidents such as fire and explosion as well as accidental release of tailings and oil, heavy metals, chlorine, propane, butane and oxides.
  • Abandoned and sunken vessels have the potential to leak oil and other hazardous materials.
  • Steel and pulp mills have the potential for episodic chemical releases.
  • Wood storage facilities present the risk of fire and chlorine releases.
  • Gas condensate ships have the risk of explosion, fire and release of gas condensate.
  • Arctic dams have the risk of breakage with ensuing floods.
  • Closed government facilities may present groundwater contamination risks.

For specific information on and prioritization of these Arctic risks, please see the report entitled “Environmental Risk Analysis of Arctic Activities“, produced by the EPPR workgroup under the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy.

4. Brief description of organizations with main responsibilities

In any Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response program, the following points should be addressed:

  • Identification by title of the person in charge of emergency response
  • Identification of key organizations and their specific roles, including the role of indigenous people,
  • Definition of relationships among the organizations and identification of leaders for specific actions,
  • A description of outside organizations who could be called on for additional assistance, and
  • Description of the roles, responsibilities and authorities of government and industry.

The main organizations with responsibilities for and who are partners in the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response process are the national governments, the local authorities, the local community and interest groups, and the industry. Depending on the specific national policy of the governments involved, the following activities highlight the responsibilities and roles that these organizations may undertake.

National governments have the overall responsibility for ensuring or organizing and maintaining an adequate level of preparedness throughout the country by providing guidelines for regional and local authorities and industry and initiating coordinated response plans at the national, regional and local level. National governments should also ensure that adequate resources have been provided to the local communities for their responsibilities as regards to emergency response.

Local authorities are responsible for developing awareness of and preparation for emergencies in their ongoing responsibility for protecting the public and the environment. They can encourage local participation through meetings and contacts with industry officials and community leaders. They are also responsible for establishing a climate of cooperation and for coordinating emergency and other public group participation. Local authorities may include state, province, district, city or town officials.

The leaders of local communities should represent the concerns of their community. These leaders may include leaders of community groups, environmental groups or associations, leaders in the business and education communities, and non-governmental organizations. These responsibilities include communicating with local authorities and industry leaders on issues important to their community and providing feedback to the community constituents about the plans and programmes being developed. It is also the local community’s responsibility to mobilize local support and participation in the emergency planning process and to train their constituents on the details of the plan.

The responsibilities of industry, represented for example by the owners or site managers, are to develop plans to address abnormal conditions and emergencies that can be reasonably anticipated. They are also responsible for developing programmes to inform the public and to create a well-informed community capable of effective participation in emergency response programmes. The industry is also responsible for establishing close working relationships with the emergency response agencies in the local communities and for keeping them informed about established safety measures.

While in some nations prevention, preparedness, and response is the primary responsibility of the government, in other nations these responsibilities are assigned to the vessel or facility owner. In these nations the national government requires owners to establish programs for the prevention of oil, hazardous materials, or radiological materials release; develop contingency preparedness plans and exercises for response to releases; and assume responsibility for response to releases from their vessels or facilities.

In addition, national, international, governmental and non-governmental organizations such as UNEP, IAEA, UN/ECE, WHO, OCHA, Joint UNEP/DMA Environment Unit, IMO, EU, OECD, Nordic Council of Ministers, Industry Associations, consumer associations and worker associations have an important role to play in Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response. These organizations may play various roles including notifying of accidents, disseminating information, and promoting and supporting implementation of programs.

5. International, Bi- and Multilateral Agreements

The agreements briefly described below

  • are in force
  • cover at least part of the Arctic region
  • pertain to emergency prevention, preparedness or response

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS (MARPOL 73/78) has aims to eliminate marine pollution by oil and other harmful substances, and sewage and garbage. Improvement of control of operational discharges of oil and reduction of the amount of oil released through accidents are the most important issues in the EPPR-area. Certain valuable areas are designated MARPOL-Special Areas. The Arctic Area has not yet been designated as such an area.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION RELATING TO INTERVENTION ON THE HIGH SEAS IN CASES OF OIL POLLUTION CAUSALITIES, (1969) and PROTOCOL RELATING TO INTERVENTION ON THE HIGH SEAS IN CASE OF POLLUTION BY SUBSTANCES OTHER THAN OIL (1973) aims to confer power on the Coastal State to intervene on the high seas in the event of a pollution causality threatening to damage, or damaging its coastline or related interests.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) has a very wide scope providing a framework within which the other conventions and customary laws work. In the area of EPPR it deals with cooperation, contingency planning and assistance.


CONVENTION ON EARLY NOTIFICATION OF A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT (NOTIFICATION CONVENTION, 1986) together with CONVENTION ON ASSISTANCE IN THE CASE OF A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT OR RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY (ASSISTANCE CONVENTION) creates the necessary systems for notification and radiological assistance that can be provided to support a response to a nuclear accident, or incident.





Global convention on maritime salvage.

Multilateral agreements


AGREEMENT BETWEEN DENMARK, FINLAND, NORWAY AND SWEDEN (NORDIC AGREEMENT) with regards to cooperation in accidents in order to prevent or minimize damage to people, property, to the environment. This agreement considers all situations which are not covered by any other agreement.

AGREEMENT BEETWEEN DENMARK , ESTONIA , THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, FINLAND , GERMANY , LATVIA., LITHUANIA, POLAND, RUSSIA AND SWEDEN with regard to protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation (HELCOM AGREEMENT)

Bilateral agreements

There are many bilateral agreements in the Arctic Region. Further information on those applicable to EPPR can be found in the respective national information.

6. Role of indigenous peoples


The effects of environmental emergencies in the Arctic regions can be severe on the lifestyle of the indigenous peoples due to their traditional close association with and dependence on natural resources. Indigenous peoples are subject to ecological, environmental, social, economic, cultural and spiritual impacts of potential oil spills and other accidents.

Because they comprise the majority of the local population in many areas of the Arctic, indigenous peoples may be the first to observe and to respond to environmental emergencies in their localities. They, as well as non-indigenous local residents, should be properly trained in response planning and measures in order that they can take the crucial first steps in an emergency situation before other responders can reach the area.

Examples of training initiatives could include:

  • basic emergency preparedness training including concepts, simulations, communications and planning
  • oil spill response training including planning, assessment of a spill, deployment of equipment for containment and protection, oil recovery, shoreline cleanup, and safety at the spill site
  • evacuation training including planning and immediate response simulations
  • community response training addressing such issues as coordination and cooperation between community response groups, working as a team, and clarifying responsibilities.

Indigenous people’s traditional, ecological and local knowledge should be regarded as a valuable component of their participation in the development of preparedness and response plans.

By utilizing local resources in responding to emergencies, indigenous peoples and communities are involved as allies in providing their abilities and knowledge in planning and responding as part of the solution, and the initial response time is speeded up in most cases. Respect for land claims and provisions for indigenous peoples employment are also factors for consideration in applying local resources.

Communicating and coordinating with indigenous peoples regarding industrial or development activities and response plans can be an important factor in mitigating or even avoiding accidents and environmental emergencies. An example could be a shipping company communicating with indigenous peoples prior to voyages into remote Arctic communities. Timing can be mutually agreed upon to serve both the company’s purposes and aboriginal hunting activities that may be impacted by ice navigation.

The APELL (Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at the Local Level) part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) process can also be used as an instrument for cooperative measures among authorities and indigenous peoples. APELL has been developed in response to several major industrial accidents. It is based on the need to develop tools to assist communities to deal with technological or man-made disasters. The objectives of the program are to create or increase community awareness of local potential hazards and to develop cooperative plans to respond to emergencies that these hazards may cause.

*Use of the term “peoples” in this document shall not be construed as having any implications as regards the rights which may be attached to the term under international law

7. Information sharing

Purpose – the purpose of information sharing is to make it possible for the EPPR network to obtain reliable information on Arctic accidents and incidents and thus creating a basis for further cooperation. The information given within the EPPR does not replace notification obligatory in existing operational agreements/arrangements

Who/whom – for information from/to EPPR members on accidents which are considered to be of mutual interest for the Arctic countries

What – Information on the event should, if appropriate, contain:

  • what has happened
  • where it has happened
  • what has been done
  • on going activities
  • estimations on further development and consequences of the accident
  • what will be done
  • need for assistance

Information should preferably be sent by fax and by e-mail to the duty e-mail box of the contact points of the different countries and should as soon as possible be acknowledged by the receiver.

List of EPPR contact persons in annex 1.

List of national contact points in annex 2.

Annex 1 – EPPR Contact Persons

Country Name Organization/ Address Telephone/Fax
Canada Mr. George McCornmick Environment Policy AdvisorNorthern Oil and Gas Branch Building,

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

tel: +1-819-953-8491Fax: +1=819-953-5828


Denmark/ Greenland Mr. Claus S. Rasmussen Defence Command DenmarkPostboks 2153
1016 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Tel: +Fax: +


Finland Mr. Timo Viitanen Ministry of the InteriorDepartment for Rescue Services

P.B. 26


Tel: +358 9 160 44575Fax: +358 9 160 44672


Iceland     Tel: +354 .
Fax: +354e-mail:
Norway Mr. Ole Kristian Bjerkemo Norwegian Coastal AdministrationServicebox 2
6025 lesund
Tel: +47 3303 4818Fax: +47 3303 4949


Russian Federation Dr. Igor Veselov Department of Prediction of EmergenciesEMERCOM of Russia
Teatralnyi proezd, 3
Moscow 103012
Tel: + 7-495-6255676Fax: + 7-495-443-84-85


Sweden Mr. Bernt Stedt Swedish Coast Guard HQStumholmen, Box 536
371 23 Karlskrona
Tel: + 46 455 35 34 53Fax:


USA Ms. Ann Heinrich Office of International Emergency Management and CooperationNational Nuclear Security Administration
US Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C.
USA 20585
Tel: +1 202 586 8165Fax: +1 202 586 2164


  Mr. Mark Meza Office of Incident Management and Preparedness
US Coast Guard2100 2nd Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C.
USA 20593-0001
Tel: +1 202 267 2466Fax: +1 202 372 2232


  Mr. Walter B. Parker Circumpolar Infrastructure Task Force3724 Campbell Airstrip Road
Anchorage, Alaska
USA 99504
Tel: +1 907 333 5189Fax: +1 907 333 5153


Annex 2 – National Contact Points

  Phone number Fax telex


1-819 997 37 421-800-265-0237




1- 613-995-0479





All events:
Environment Canada , National Environmental Emergencies Centre (NEEC)Coast Guard Radio
Marine Communications and Traffic Systems/ Regional Operations Centre

NWT/Nunavut 24 Hour Spill Line

Yukon 24 Hour Spill Line

Nuclear events:
Health Canada Nuclear Emergencies Duty Officer

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission – Nuclear Emergency duty officer

  Phone number Fax Telex or e-mail
Denmark/ Greenland +299 69 19 11
(24 h)+299 34 68 00
(+299 34 68 01 direct)
(offices hours)

+299 34 50 00
(+299 34 67 07 direct)
(offices hours)

+299 69 19 49
(24 h)+299 32 43 02
(offices hours)

+ 299 32 52 86
(offices hours)

All events:
Island Commander Greenland Hq. (Greenland Defence Forces)
Duty OfficerGreenland Home Rule:
Bureau of Mineral and Petroleum

Department of Environment and Nature


+358-9-3936 3636
(24 h)+358-20-410 7070
(24 h)
(only distress)

+358-9-160 42960
(office hours)

+358-20-517 171
(office hours)

(office hours)

+358-9-403 000
(office hours)

(office hours)



+358-9-394 6480
(24 h)+358-22-500 950
(24 h)

+358-9-160 44672
(office hours)

+358-20-517 7643
(office hours)

+358-9-1991 9545
(office hours)

+358-9-4030 0190
(office hours)

+358-9-1603 9320
(office hours)



For land based events:
Emergency Response
Centre of HelsinkiFor sea-based events:
Maritime Rescue
Coordination Centre

Competent Authorities, land-based events
Ministry of the InteriorDepartment for Rescue Services

Provincial State Office of Lapland

Competent Authorities,
Sea-based events

Ministry of the Environment

Finnish Environment

Competent Authority, radiological events
The Finnish Centre for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (STUK)


+354-511 22 22
+354-551 1150
+354 511 22 44  
Marine spills
Other spills
Major disasters,
(incl. Nuclear Emergencies)


+47-330 348 00+47-67 16 25 00
+47-67 16 26 00

+47-75 55 90 00

+47-330 349 49+47-67 14 74 07
+47-67 14 91 25

+47-75 52 42 00

All Events
Norwegian Coastal AdministrationNuclear Events
Norwegian Radiation
Protection Authority
Office hours
Outside office hours

Major disasters
(SAR, etc)

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Northern Norway

  Phone number Fax telex
Russia 7-495 4493785 7-495 4493785
7-495 4438485
Department of disaster prevention and response


46-54 11246-455 35 35 35

++46 8 799 40 00

46-54 10 28 8946-455 812 75

++46 8 799 40 10

For land accidents:
Swedish Rescue Services AgencyFor maritime accidents:
Swedish Coast Guard HQ

Competent Authority, Radiological events
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority

  Phone number Fax telex
USA 1-202 647 1512 1 202 647 1811  
U.S Department of State
(24 hour emergency contact)


Type of risks oil and gas
– exploration both onshore (loss of well control) and offshore (loss of well control and heavy metals associated with drilling muds)
– production at Norman Wells (spills from pipeline);
– fuel/oil marine transportationmining activity at three lead-zinc mines (Polaris, Nanisivik, Raglan) from POL spills or heavy metal release;

community resupply where transportation, off loading and storage on site can lead to accidental releases of fuel oil.

Risk evaluation oil and gas
– exploration activity carries a low probability of petroleum product release but would result in high impact if a release occurred; metals in drilling muds could result in chronic releases with low impact;
– production facilities have a low risk of release and would result in relatively lower impact than exploration activity;
– ship source spills have a low risk, a major spill would result in high impact in the Arctic contextmining activities are presently regulated and present a low probability of release with a low impact except in the immediate area;

community resupply activities could result in spills with high local impacts but would represent a low impact in the Arctic context. The risk is mainly derived from storage facilities. Approximately 480,000 tonnes (1998) of product oil is transferred in the Arctic annually.

Organisational ResponsibilitiesContact Points

Brief description on how to request assistance

In the Northwest Territories and Nunavut: Eight agencies are signatory to the ”NWT/NU Spills Working Agreement” which summarizes which agency is designated to take the lead in any given spill incident, ensuring that adequate spill response and follow-up is occurring. Agencies party to the agreement include Transport Canada/Canadian Coast Guard, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Environment Canada, National Energy Board, Inuvialuit Land Administration, Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Government of Nunavut.In the Yukon: there are similar arrangements to those in place in the NWT.

For spills/potential spills that occur in the Canadian Arctic : reports should be made to points of contact provided in National Contact Points.

Involvement of indigenous people Indigenous peoples organizations are/can be signatory to the Spills AgreementsCanadian Coast Guard and the territorial governments provide 1st response training to local community members where response equipment in place

local communities participate in the preparation and updating of sensitivity maps and shorelines cleanup guides

Notification procedures and communications systems The polluters of any waste substance deposited in arctic waters are required to immediately report this occurrence to the agencies identified at the national contact points. On land, protocols for spill reporting may exist for industrial operations, defining what would constitute an immediately reportable spill. If no such protocol or reporting requirements are applicable to the undertaking at hand, all spills are to be immediately reported.A lead agency will be identified and that agency will notify and update all interested parties in accordance with national and international agreements.
Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place Large depots exist in Tuktoyaktuk, Hay River, Iqaluit and Churchill.First Response Units are currently located at Rankin Inlet, Coral Harbour, Cape Dorset, Clyde River, Arctic Bay, Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk and Resolute.
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements Canada/US Joint Marine Pollution Contingency PlanCanada/Denmark AgreementCanada/US Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan
International Agreements OPRC 90
OPRC/HNS 2000 (Not ratified)
MARPOL 73/78
ECE Convention 92


Type of risks Offshore oil and gas exploration at Fylla Bank
Risk evaluation Possible accidental discharges of oil impacting land, river and the ocean. Activity has low probability of occurrence with high magnitude of impact.
Organisational ResponsibilitiesContact Points The operation is planned for the summer of 2000. Contingency plans and an Oil Spill Response Plan are presently being developed for submittal to the authorities for approval.
Brief description on how to request assistance See “Contact Points”
Involvement of Indigenous People The operator has informed the local community about the operation by holding an Environmental Seminar. The community will be involved in the development of the Contingency and Oil Spill Response Plan.
Notification procedures and communication systems See “Contact Points”
Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place See “Contact Points”
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements Canada/Denmark Agreement (CANDEN)
Copenhagen Agreement
NORDIC Agreement
HELCOM Convention
International Agreements OPRC 90
MARPOL 73/78
Oslo/Paris Convention
ECE Convention 92


Type of risk Release of hazardous chemicals (including oil)Oil harbour and terminal in Kemi

Sea routes to Kemi

Roads and rail roads from Kemi

Steel production at Tornio

Pulp mills at Kemi and Kemijrvi

Risk evaluation The Gulf of Bothnia is shallow with complicated sea routes. From Kemi harbour chemicals are transported to industrial and energy plants by train or by lorry. Risks are mainly related to transportations and can be estimated high. Presumable magnitude is low except in the sea routes high.Steel and pulp production is mainly located close to rivers Tornionjoki and Kemijoki, both flowing to the Gulf of Bothnia. Tornionjoki flows along the Finnish Swedish borderline. There is a potential for explosion accidents and fires as well as release of hazardous materials. However the probability of an accident is low. Also the foreseeable magnitude is in principle low. Liquefied gas used in Tornios steel production poses a high magnitude risk.

Over Kemijoki there are several hydroelectric plants with dykes and reservoirs. In case of dam breakage high magnitude floods are possible.

Organisational responsibilities Responsible authorities for land based accidents, including rivers and lakes, are the Ministry of the Interior, Provincial States Offices (district level) and municipal fire brigades (local level).In maritime accidents involving spill of hazardous material the Finnish Environment Institute (national) and Provincial Environment Centres (district level) take the leadership.

In case of radiation incidents the Finnish Centre for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (STUK) takes the main responsibility contacting also International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to the Rescue Act several authorities are, in case of a major accident, obliged to participate in rescue interventions. Coastguard is responsible for practical measures in case of oil spill accidents at sea under the leadership of a co-ordinator ordered by the Provincial Environment Centre.

Notifications and requests for assistance from other countries are received through national points of contact which are active 24 hours a day (see Chapter 7, Annex 2). Replies as well as Finland s requests for assistance are in principle sent directly by the competent authority.

According to Finland s rescue agreements with Sweden , Norway , and Russia assistance can be requested directly at district or local level. A competent district authority in one country for instance can address his request straight to his counterpart in the other country as agreed in the appropriate agreement.

Indigenous people are well integrated into society. No special role has been addressed to them in case of industrial accidents.

Notification procedures and communication systems For land accidents the UN/ECE Accident Notification System is used. For maritime accidents the POLREP Pollution Reporting System is used in case of spill of hazardous material. For nuclear accidents notification and further measures comply with Notification Convention 1989 and Assistance Convention 1986.For notification and request of assistance special forms have been adopted to ensure correct information. To utilise this preference is given to facsimile communications. Information is forwarded to competent authorities through national contact points, described in detail above in Chapter 7.

Agreements between Finland and its neighbouring countries Norway , Russia , and Sweden include some special rules of procedure with forms drawn up accordingly. Contact points and communications are the same, but also immediate contacts between appropriate district and local level authorities are possible.

Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place General rescue organisations consist of local fire brigades, both municipal and plant-owned. Several authorities are co-operating according to contingency plans. In case of a serious emergency joint resources of participating municipalities operate under the command of district fire chief.Fire brigades are equipped according to the risks in the respective municipalities’ territories. Plans for joint interventions are adopted. Coastal municipalities have basic oil response equipment. The nearest oil booms for open sea operations are available in the city of Oulu. Coastguard has adequately equipped vessels for open sea operations.

For providing assistance for another country, units will be assembled from local fire brigades and assisting organisations with adequate expertise or equipment. Decision about assistance will be made by the ministry even out of office hours.

When Finland provides assistance, the units are normally coming outside the Finnish Arctic. Bearing the title Finn Rescue Force there is a special command based on the fire and rescue organisations of the biggest cities.

Finn Rescue Force consists of versatile and well trained rescue practitioners up to 280 men. Units are qualified for fire fighting, rescue interventions, medical aid, assessment of disasters, and response to harmful emissions. Transportation possibilities for heavy equipment are limited.

Small groups are ready to depart in a day. Normally arrangements take 1 – 5 days. Operations on site are possible for 1 – 2 weeks. As a rule costs will be charged.

Bi- and multilateral agreements Copenhagen AgreementNordic Agreement

HELCOM Convention

Agreement between Finland and Russia on Co-operation in the Field of Environment Protection, Helsinki 1985. Includes various forms of co-operation.

Agreement between Finland and Russian Federation on Co-operation to Avert Disasters and to Prevent Their Consequences; Helsinki 1994.

Basically similar to the Nordic Agreement.

International agreements ECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, Helsinki 1992.International Convention For The Protection Of Pollution From Ships As Amended By 1978 Protocol (MARPOL 73/78).


OPRC/HNS 2000 (not ratified)

Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Notification Convention) 1986

Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Assistance Convention) 1986


Type of risks OilTerminals on the South West corner where the main import of oil is conducted, and on/off loading and storage on site can lead to accidental releases of oil.

Transportation of oil to terminals and storage tanks in harbour areas.


Handling and transportation in limited amounts to factories and communities, mainly located at the South West corner of Iceland .

Natural hazards

Earthquakes. volcanic eruptions. snow avalanches and flooding creating risk for pollution.

Risk evaluation OilThe major risk for accidental releases from oil storage appears to be snow avalanches falling on storage tanks, even though earthquakes are regarded as potential risk. This could have big local impact, but no significant impact on a global scale. The snow avalanches are mainly confined to western and eastern part of the country, where as the most severe earthquakes occur in south and north.


The use of dangerous chemicals in Iceland is very limited and could volume-wise only have impact on local scale.

Natural hazards

Some natural hazards could have impact on a global scale, such as big eruptions, however, it unlikely that anthropogenic pollution caused by such events would have more than local effects

Organisational ResponsibilitiesContact Points

Brief description on how to request assistance

Involvement of indigenous people

MarineIn Iceland there is a 24 hour spill line. The law require the Icelandic EPA to respond outside harbour areas, but each harbour is responsible to respond if the spill occurs within its own authority’s demarcation. Further information is provided on notification within harbours on Web Page


Iceland is divided into 13 Public health control areas and each of them is responsible for response to spills occurring on land.

Threat to human lives:

National Civil Defense has a 24 hour line and is responsible for responding if there is any threat of major disasters including danger of threat to human lives.

Notification procedures and communication systems Accidents involving danger or potential danger of pollution emergencies should be reported in the following way:Marine spills 354 511 22 22

Other spills 354 112

Major disasters, (incl. Nuclear Emergencies) 354 551 1150

Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place Iceland has various oil response equipment mainly for domestic use.
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements Copenhagen Agreement
International Agreements OPRC 90
OPRC/HNS 2000 (not ratified)
MARPOL 73/78
Oslo/Paris Convention
UNCLOS Intervention 69/73
BASEL Convention 1989


Type of risks Exploration drilling will occasionally take place in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea south of Bear Island.. Production of NLG and condensate started from Snhvit north of North Cape in 2007. The Oil production from Goliat will on stream 2010There is increased shipping activity around Svalbard, which can be a threat to the fragile environment. In the summer a number of cruise liners call at several ports in the area and those vessels carry a substantial quantity of bunker oil. The transportation of oil products from Russia along the Norwegian coast is slowly increasing.
Risk evaluation Risk assessments indicate that shipping activities have significant higher environment risk than petroleum activity. The total risk in this area is deemed to be lower compared with other area in the Norwegian sector. The risk of an accident as a result of drilling is relatively low, the magnitude of the accident can on the other hand, be high in the case of a blow-out. The risk of an incident from the production of condensate is considered as low. The future production of oil may increase the possibility for oil spills. Regarding shipping activities around Svalbard, experience shows that incidents occur from time to time. A spill of 2-300 tons of heavy fuel oils in that fragile environment could have a long term effect on the environment. The highest risk is estimated from the oil transport of oil products. The risk have been evaluated through research work (e.g. Management Plan for the Baernts Sea) and other reports.
Organisational Responsibilities If a pollution incident should take place and be of such magnitude that assistance from other Arctic countries should be necessary, the responsible body will be The Norwegian Coastal Administration Authority (NCA), which is subsidiary to The Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. NCA is the focal point for all pollution incidents except radiological accidents.NCA can be contacted by phone or fax 24 hours a day.
Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place There are 15 depots of oil pollution response equipment along the Norwegian coast. A similar depot is established on Svalbard. If requested and permission given, equipment can be ready for shipment within a few hours. Equipment is also permanently installed on different Coast Guard vessels in the area.
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements Copenhagen AgreementJoint Contingency Plan for Combatment of Oil Pollution in the Barents Sea between Norway and The Russian Federation .

NORDIC Agreement

NORBRIT Agreement: Agreement between Norway and United Kingdom on on procedures to be followed during joint Norway/United Kingdom counter‑pollution operations at sea.

International Agreements OPRC 90OPRC/HNS 2000 (not ratified)
MARPOL 73/78
Oslo/Paris Convention
ECE Convention 73/78

13. RUSSIA (to be further developed)

Type of risks Oil spills in Arctic seas. There are significant drilling activity in the Barents Sea, and shipping activity in the Arctic.
Risk evaluation Probable oil outflows 300 t/ The risk of an accident as a result of drilling and shipping activity is relatively low.
Organisational Responsibilities The Russian contingency organisation for combating emergency oil pollution at sea comes within the area (national level) of the Marine Pollution Control and Salvage Administration (MPCSA) which is part of the Ministry of Transport of Russian Federation . In the Arctic Seas area MPCSA has delegated the contingency functions to the Regional Salvage Departments ( Murmansk and Far East).
Contact Points Inquiries:Marine Pollution Control & Salvage Administration (MPCSA) 1/4, Rozhdestvenka str., Moscow, 103759, Russia

Tel: +7 (095) 926-9302/9458/9455 (office hours)

Fax: +7 (095) 926-9458 (office hours)

926-9128/9038/1052 (24 hours)

Tlx: 411197 morflot ru

Brief description on how to request assistance Any pollutant discharge, by a vessel or detected by the Master of a vessel navigating the Northern Sea Route shall be reported promptlyIn the western part, up to the meridian 125 E – West Marine Operations Headquarters (WMOH), located at the port of Dikson; and

In the eastern part, E of the meridian 125 E – East Marine Operations Headquarters (EMOH), located at the port of Pevek.

To request assistance the Masters of vessels should communicate with the State Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (SMRCC) or its bodies (MRCC) in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Tiksi and Vladivostok.

Notification procedures and communication systems Pollution notification may be entrusted according to IMO Resolution A 648 (16).Information should be sent to

WMOH Dikson: Call signal “Dikson-radio-2” on channel 16 (24 hours). Satellite-communications station Nos. 1402724, 1402723 and answer-back units MMPI (INMARSAT), 1401514 MMPA (HORIZONT) or

EMOH Pevec: Call signal “Pevek-radio-19” on channel 16 (24 hours). Satellite-communications Nos. 1400343 DUMV and answer-back unit 1402645 DUMC (INMARSAT). Incident reports should be sent to the nearest Coordination Centre (24 hours)

SMRCC Moscow Tel: +7 095 926 10 55Fax: +7 095 926 10 52

Tlx: 411197

SMRCC Murmansk Tel: +7 815 25 50 65Fax: +7 815 22 21 32

Tlx: 126121 mrf RU

SMRCC Arkhangelsk Tel: +7 818 24 47100/39968Fax: +7 818 24 38310

Tlx: 213124, 213115

SMRCC Tiksi Tlx: 141147 buhtu RU
SMRCC Vladivostok Tel: +7 4232 21 9248/6068Fax: +7 4232 22 2726

Tlx: 213124, 213115

  Such incident reports also may be broadcast via corresponding coast radio stations on frequencies: 405-525 kHz, 1605-2850 kHz, 156-162 MHz or via special report systems of vessels movement.
Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place Large depots exist in Murmansk and Nakhodka ( Vladivostok). Additional depots are being formed in the Arctic ports.
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements The Russian-Norwegian agreement on cooperation in combating emergency oil spills in the Barent Sea (1994).The Russian-USA agreement on cooperation in combating emergency oil spills in the Bering and Chukchi Seas (1989).

Canada/Russia MOU

HELCOM Convention

International Agreements MARPOL 73/78
ECE Convention 92
OPRC 90 (not yet ratified)


Type of risks The risk with the highest probability of occurrence is release of oil or other harmful substances from shipping in the Gulf of Bothnia. Around 4 mil. tons of oil and 2 mil. tons of chemicals are transported every year.Dam breakage causing release of oil and chemicals is also a risk.

Mining activities takes place on several sites.

Risk evaluation Accidents from shipping causes releases from time to time. However the probability of a major spill is considered to be low.The probability of a severe accident in mining is estimated to be very low.

Several rivers have their outflow in the Gulf of Bothnia. Along those rivers there are many power plants with dams and embankments. In case of serious floods there is a risk of dam-breakage. The consequences would be a very huge pollution of the Gulf of Bothnia coming from several industries also situated along those rivers. The probability for a dam-breakage however is considered to be very low.

Organisational Responsibilities The overall responsibility for the above mentioned accidents lies under the Ministry of Defense. For land accidents (as well as for lakes and rivers) the Swedish Rescue Services Agency has the responsibility on a national level and the municipality (fire brigade) on the local. The Country Administration plays a coordinating role: between the national and the local level and is also responsible for measures after a radiological accident. The Swedish Radiation Protection Institute has the national responsibility.For spill accidents at sea the Swedish Coast Guard has the national and the local responsibility.

Contact points for requests, see Chapter 7.

No special role has been addressed to the indigenous people. The above mentioned authorities have 24-hours contacts points. Besides this there are certain alarm centers for all kind of domestic land accidents (SOS-centers) which also plays a coordinating role between all kind of Swedish rescue activities.

According to agreements with all the riparian states to the North the Baltic Sea request for assistance from or to abroad can be done directly by the responsible national agency or in some cases also by the actual regional or local agency

Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place Swedish Rescue Services Agency has been ordered by the Government to be prepared to assist, on short notice, the UN’s organisation for the coordination of catastrophe aid. This state of preparedness makes it possible to assist in various types of operations and adequate equipment has been designated. For e.g. oil spills the Agency has containerized beach cleaning equipment which can be provided within days, depending on logistic facilities.The Swedish Coast Guard has adequate oil spill response equipment for near shore and sea operations, however no equipment specially designed for oil spill response in ice.
Bi- and Multilateral Agreements NORDIC AgreementCopenhagen Agreement
International Agreements Intervention Convention 67/73
MARPOL 73/78
BASEL Convention 1989
OPRC/HNS 2000 (not ratified)
Notification Convention 1986
Assistance Convention 1986
Oslo/Paris Convention

15. USA

Type of risks Release of oil and noxious liquids from for example:

  • Exploratory Drilling at Coleville Prospect
  • Production at Endicott Oil Field
  • Trans-Alaska Pipeline (Prudhoe Bay to Port of Valdez)
  • Fuel Oil Transport Along Alaska’s Coast, domestically and internationally

Release of hazardous materials from for example:

  • Red Dog Zinc Mine
Risk evaluation Release of oil. Possible accidental episodic discharges of oil and noxious liquid substances impacting land, rivers, and ocean. Activities have a low probability of occurrence with high magnitude of impact, with the exception of fuel oil transport, which has a low probability of occurrence and a low magnitude of impact.Release of hazardous materials. Releases of chemicals and/or tailings should a settling pond levee lose its integrity are possible. Such accidental episodic discharges of chemicals and/or tailings have the potential of impacting rivers and ocean. This activity has a low probability of occurrence with a low magnitude of impact.
Organisational responsibilities

  • Contact Points
  • Brief description on how to request assistance
  • Involvement of indigenous people
The US Coast Guard has primary coordinating responsibility for oil spill response for the coastal zone. The US Environmental Protection Agency has primary responsibility for all inland areas. US Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service is responsible for offshore exploration operations. The US Department of Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety and, in Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management are the key federal agencies working with the intergovernmental Joint Pipeline Office (JPO) providing comprehensive oversight of oil and gas pipelines in Alaska, most notably, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Spill Prevention and Response is lead state agency.The National Response Framework and its specific spill response National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) provide for a coordinated response to discharges of oil and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. The Framework provides for a national response organisation that may be activated in response actions. Responsibilities among the federal, state, and local governments are specified along with descriptions of resources that are available for response.

The National Response Framework requires an incident command system that specifies responsibilities of state agencies and municipalities; federal agencies; operators of facilities; and private parties whose land or property may be affected. Predesignated On-Scene Coordinators are organized by region into a three tiered response capability: Level I for minor incidents generally managed with local resources and a small response staff; Level II for medium-sized incidents requiring activation of area resources and a potential for moderate impacts; and Level III for catastrophic incidents which require a statewide response team. Regional and Area Plans contain detailed, localized information on the potentially hazardous facility, nearby environmentally sensitive areas, emergency response equipment and personnel, and information regarding local emergency response capability. At the local level, committees develop local emergency plans and procedures.

Federal and state laws require industry to prepare response contingency plans which are approved prior to operations. Those responsible for the discharge or release are responsible for containment and cleanup and contaminated debris disposal, including associated costs of restoration and damages. Industry has organized cooperatives for oil and chemical emergencies, pooling response equipment, expertise and resources.

For assistance from the United States Government, contact the US Embassy in your country. The Department of State (DOS) will coordinate the US response, activating via the National Response Center Federal agencies. DOS also ensures notification of US states and of potentially affected foreign governments.

Indigenous people participate in Local Emergency Planning Committees which plan and prepare for response including identification of emergency response equipment and exercising response. In a response, indigenous people are contacted in accordance with State and Area Contingency Plans. Additionally, cooperatives such as Alaska Clean Seas hire indigenous expert advisors.

Notification procedures and communication systems Those responsible for the discharge or release are required to immediately notify the US National Response Center (NRC), located at US Coast Guard Headquarters of a spill. The US Government notifies the State of Alaska, Trustees of natural resources, and any country that may be impacted by the release. These notifications are usually accomplished by the On-Scene Coordinator, who will also notify any other parties involved in the response system, through a comprehensive network of state and local emergency operations centers. Information is also communicated throughout the response. Pollution/incident reports are drafted regularly and are transmitted to interested parties. Notification procedures and communication methods used are identified in regional area contingency plans and industry facility-response contingency plans.
Emergency equipment and facilities readiness in place Industry is required to have response equipment on scene, with the quantity and type based on the operation and facility. Should additional equipment be needed in an incident, a tiered response is activated according to the regional or area contingency plan and the facility’s response plan, allowing access to equipment and resources maintained by local government, other non-government organisations, state agencies, and Federal government. Equipment lists are maintained in regional and area plans as well as facility response contingency plans.Industry has formed cooperatives to pool resources, capabilities, and personnel. Alaska Clean Seas, Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response (CISPRI) Alaska Chadux Corporation are industry response cooperatives which maintain response organisations. Alyeska, as operator of the Trans Alaska Pipeline, has equipment staged along the pipeline with significant response resources located in Valdez. CHEMTREC, a national industry funded cooperative, provides technical assistance for chemical emergencies.

Specialized assets exist for response. These assets include the National Strike Force which is made up of three rapid response teams of trained personnel and specialized equipment for responding to oil or hazardous materials incidents. The teams are trained to provide technical assistance, equipment, and other resources to augment local response efforts. Navy salvage teams, scientific support teams, public affairs teams, and animal rescue organisations are specialized assets that are also available to assist local response efforts. A National Strike Force Coordination Center assists coordinating the use of these assets and in locating other spill response resources for both response and planning.

The US Department of Energy can also provide radiological emergency response assets (personnel and equipment) to support environmental monitoring and medical response in the event of a radiological emergency. These assets are not located in the Arctic and may be requested through the International Atomic Energy Agencys Response and Assistance Network (RANET) or through the US Department of State.

Bi- and multilateral agreements US/Canada Joint Contingency Plan (for common Arctic areas). The plan provides a framework for Canada-US cooperation in response to pollution incidents that pose a significant threat to waters or coastal areas requiring joint response or assistance. The objective is to develop the appropriate measure of preparedness and a system for the discovery and reporting of a pollution incident, to institute prompt measures to restrict the further spread of oil or other noxious substances, and to provide adequate resources to respond.US/Russia Joint Contingency Plan: “Joint Contingency Plan Against Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas”. This plan provides for coordinated and combined responses to pollution incidents in the Baring and Chukchi Seas. The objective of the plan is to develop appropriate preparedness measures and systems for discovering and reporting the existence of a pollution incident, provide the means to institute prompt measures to restrict the further spread of oil or hazardous substances, and to provide a mechanism by which adequate resources may be employed to respond to an incident. Under the agreement the two countries meet on a biannual basis.
International agreements MARPOL 73/78
OPRC/HNS 2000 (not ratified)
Intervention Convention 69/73
Salvage Convention 89
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency